Category Archives: Berries

Utterly Delicous Albacore Tuna Crudo Recipe

“Crudo” is essentially an Italian way to present pristine raw fish — think sashimi but more interesting and varied — and this recipe is a winner.

Albacore Crudo with Strawberries and Nuoc Cham

This is a simple, absolutely wonderful recipe if you have super-fresh fish and want a quick way to prepare it.  Besides being utterly delicious, it’s pretty and lends itself well to adaptations.  For the uninitiated, “crudo” is the same concept as sashimi except the preparation is as varied as the cook’s imagination. While nominally an Italian dish, it’s prepared in all kinds of ways by fancy chefs and home cooks. In my dish, the richness of the fish is underscored by the light, slightly citrusy sauce with its Asian flavors, which I pump up a bit with the barest drizzle of lime oil.  The sweet/tart pop of strawberries goes quite well with this. Even if using strawberries with fish sounds weird to you, try it anyway and you won’t be sorry. Or use pomegranate seeds. Continue reading


Where to Find the Most Delectable Strawberries


Strawberries may have moved up into the most popular category of fruit but that doesn’t mean all strawberries are equal in the taste — and health — department. We present the most delicious, good-for-you varieties  along with some unforgettable strawberry cousins to grow at home. Read all about it on KQED’s food blog here.

Great Ingredients: Ultimate Strawberries

How do I love thee, let me count….well, you get the idea.   I think that strawberries are the most exquisite of fruit.  Not those hard, sour, supermarket berries consumed by many whose only positive quality is their red color, but the carefully tended varieties that strawberry lovers like me hunt down in farmers markets or in our own strawberry patch — and sometimes, in far-away lands.  More on that later.

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Recipe: Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Dust

This tart recipe is based on one made by renowned French chef Joël Robuchon. It’s simple to make, deeply bittersweet and quite rich.  The berry “dust” is an optional addition and gives the tart a modern edge — “dust” is popular in molecular gastronomy dishes and is made from dehydrated ingredients, pulverized. Garnishing dishes with “dust” is a simple way to zip up your cooking and surprise your guests.  The tart shell includes almonds, but skinned hazelnuts could be substituted. Continue reading

Recipe: Fresh Fruit Tart with Tarragon

I love fruit tarts, but not the overly sweet, overly rich kind with “glazed” fruit — which is the kind you usually see in bakeries and recipes.  My tart, however, combines a light, herb-flavored pastry cream (containing no cream) and fresh berries tossed in a little fresh lemon juice and sugar. I’ve served this tart at several dinner parties and guests invariably wanted extra helpings, which is gratifying.  Continue reading

Light Recipe: Rhubarb Ginger Sorbet with Swanton Strawberries, Aged Balsamic Vinegar and Greek Yogurt


Dieters, this delicious dessert is almost guilt free.

Sounds ho-hum? In fact, it’s wonderful: light in calories, big in flavor and as satisfying as it is  guilt free.  My friend Patti, a Midwestern girl, introduced me  to the rhubarb sorbet concept (rhubarb is a popular ingredient back there but not so much during my California upbringing). I’d never bought rhubarb before but now I’m a believer. The sorbet is intense and creamy, the latter being a natural property of cooked rhubarb.  Also helping is the fact that no water is used in the sorbet recipe (sorbets usually are made with sugar water).  The best choice for the  strawberries are the wondrous ones from Swanton, which are available at the Menlo Park farmers market, Whole Foods and elsewhere.  And the Fage brand Greek-style yogurt is to yogurt what Domaine de la Romanée Conti is to pinot noir. Another discovery I have Patti to thank for. Continue reading

Recipe: Strawberry Gazpacho (David Kinch)

The simplicity of this recipe belies how out-of-this-world wonderful it tastes.I begged David for months for the recipe because I couldn’t duplicate it. He sometimes serves this as an amuse bouche before the meal starts.Great berries are a necessity, so go to a farmers market or buy the divine Swanton strawberries sometimes sold at Whole Foods. At Manresa (his superb restaurant in Los Gatos), he uses the freshest ingredients available, of course, so be choosy in your shopping. Higher-end grocery stores like Draeger’s are more likely to carry the quality balsamic vinegar and nut oil (best: imported French oil such as J. Leblanc; the only acceptable domestic oils are by LaTourangelle) called for in the recipe. David’s recipes are presented “chef’s style,” in weight measurements rather than the volume measurements typically found in home recipes. I’ve added some further explanations in the recipe. Continue reading